Karen Richards


Karen Richards has been a volunteer reporter since the fall of 2012.

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US Army Corps of Engineers

The Army Corps of Engineers sent inspectors to 13 Willamette Valley dams following Saturday’s magnitude 4.2 earthquake. All of them were judged to be safe.

Protocol requires dams within 75 miles of a magnitude 4.0 or greater earthquake be inspected within 24 hours.

Karen Richards

A busy season's wrapping up at Hayward Field Thursday through Sunday in Eugene. The USA Track and Field Championships will decide the team for the World Championships in Beijing. The USA Junior Championships determine the athletes under 20 for the Pan Am Games in Toronto. The dual events are poised to provide drama.

 Temperatures are forecast in the high 90's for the weekend, unusual for Hayward Field. As Track Town USA's Vin Lananna says, in 10 years in Eugene he has yet to apologize for the weather:

Karen Richards

At just about a year since its formation, the Regional Accelerator and Innovation Network or “RAIN” in Eugene is thriving.

RAIN Eugene is a collaboration of the Chamber of Commerce, the Cities of Eugene and Springfield and the University of Oregon. It strives to help startups launch and generate local jobs and growth. Sixteen companies have completed the program. Only a couple of those have closed. Most are looking for partners, funding or to hire employees. Chief Startup Officer Joe Maruschak (MARUSE-CHECK) says momentum is building.

ODFW: Philip Milburn

The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife has been studying kit foxes since 2012. Recently, they captured rare video of two adults and their five playful pups.

Kit foxes are a diminutive desert animal, just four to six pounds. They’re listed as a sensitive species in Oregon, with a small or declining population. Meghan Dugan with ODFW says Malheur and Harney Counties are as far north as the species has been found:

Kari Greer / U.S. Forest Service

The federal government is one step closer to changing the way it pays to fight wildfires. Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley said the preliminary legislation was approved by the Senate Appropriations Committee Thursday.

Wildfires are not treated the same as other natural disasters, such as floods and hurricanes. This forces the U.S. Forest Service to take money intended for fire prevention efforts, like thinning, and use it to fight fires. Under the new system, Senator Merkley explains the wildfire budget would be based on the 10-year average cost.


You won’t see many white sheep at this weekend’s  Black Sheep Gathering at the Lane County Fairgrounds. The show was founded 41 years ago to preserve the genetics of black, brown and grey animals.

The event began in the mid-1970s with gatherings held at people’s homes. It’s grown every year and this year will take over the convention space as well as the expo barns at the fairgrounds. Wayne Thompson has been involved for 35 years:

OR Department of Forestry

It’s officially wildfire season in Oregon. As of Tuesday, every district in the state is subject to fire restrictions.

Most years, it’s around July 4th before the northwest part of the state declares fire restrictions. The Oregon Department of Forestry’s Rod Nichols says low snowpack and dry weather have accelerated the season. He says the rules apply mostly to industrial work:

Nichols: “Logging operations for example need to have a fire watch present after they finish logging for the day and they also have to have fire suppression equipment positioned on site.”

Karen Richards

Photos were taken Friday evening, June 12. 

Karen Richards

The blimp flying over Eugene the past few days is on a summer farewell tour. Goodyear’s 13-year old “Spirit of America,” is being decommissioned in August.

The blimp is being replaced by a zeppelin, a more maneuverable craft with some internal structure. Eddie Ogden is a historian for Goodyear. He says Eugene is a great location for customer appreciation flights:

Ogden: “We came in to Eugene, because first of all we haven’t been here since 2007, and it was a good stop on the way up to Washington where the U.S. Open is being held.”